A very nice man runs a shop here. I like him a lot. He's a good fisherman - agrees fish aren't playthings, and we need thanks ceremonies for them. If you drop into his shop, it's a lovely place, with nice products, including locally-made things.
BUT - we Americans all have rats-bane in our heads. Mine is, I'm sick and tired of what I love being murdered for fun and profit. I'm not apologizing for THAT.
I hurt his feelings yesterday because I had to. As an American, it was my responsibility.
A conversation wound into our military. He said he didn't want to go there because his son has a "Navy career." And if his ship was fired on in from Benghazi, he had to shoot back because he was following ordrs. And "Our military isn't like it was; in WWI and WWII, it helped the economy."
I'm sorry it hurts, but if your kid is in the military, you need to face the facts, America.
1. A military is NEVER about a "career," or "job" in the harmless definition (jobs used to be a harmful excuse are the same conversation). It's about killing and dying. Period. The fact Americans have to join to get health care or a college education is a sin and a shame, and ashes on our heads.
2. "I was just following orders" was disallowed in 1945 by The Geneva Convention.
3. Bombing or shelling a city for any reason is a war crime. According to the Convention, soldiers are required to report war crimes - or be guilty of a crime of omission.
4. Whether the other wars helped an economy or not - there are plenty of links for that conversation - the idea that ANYTHING is valid because it "creates jobs" or "helps the economy" is, in the end, a dangerous idea. Kentucky has banned private prisons for more than one reason. However, wars are ALWAYS for resources, land and borders. Soldiers aren't called cannon-fodder for nothing. Think of them as Washington State loggers who risk getting a leg off while all the money goes to Florida.
We are in an OIL war, and have been for decades. We've destroyed democratic societies, destroying their educational systems, because decent, educated people would have protested our presence in their countries. Their children grow up ignorant, angry, and violent - as now, do ours.
5. If you're a parent or spouse or any relationship to anyone in a war, if you really had loved your DNA, you'd have prevented it going into a war zone.
6. Soldiers are not the heroes of war. The women and children attempting to live in war zones are the heroes, but we're unable to see them, for the same reason Lewis and Clark thought they were pioneering when they were fed by women caring for children. Soldiers are not the point. When they come to think of themselves as the point, they cause the same problem as bad cops, who also think they're the point. Soldiers continue and support wars, especially today - because they all went willingly. It is their fault, private to general.
7. War is for stupid people. If you're in a war, you've fucked up. You have no excuse. Somehow, both sides have screwed up. Everybody involved is stupid, lazy and unable to think his or her way into the future realities.
8. If your kid gets killed in a war, everybody who supports that war - for any reason, even if you support that war because you have some twisted idea you need to because it ate your kid - you are in collusion.
9. Generals very often cannot retire at pension rank unless they've participated in a war, as part of their "career." War is their job, in their own heads.
Happy Memorial Day - maybe next year, we'll have fewer new crosses, and fewer damaged or murdered women and children in the war zones.